78 dB Suppressor? Wait for it…

Okay.  So this has made some rounds on the interwebz and is generating sufficient drama.  If you haven’t heard, supposedly Jesse James (formerly of Monster Garage) has constructed a suppressor with some intense claims:


  • 78 dB at the muzzle
  • No heat signature to distort view from optics
  • Zero muzzle flash from front or sides while full auto
  • Increase of 100m/s velocity

Brent Taylor (of Liberty Suppressors) called him out, issuing a challenge which apparently was initially accepted and then ultimately backed down from:

Pretty crazy claims that would definitely need some independent testing and verification using controls.  My understanding is that there have not really been any major changes to the original design from Maxim.  There have been attempts at true phase cancellation (but even this is contested due to the types of sound produced).  I suppose a larger chamber with more baffles may assist with better heat dissipation, but I can’t imagine no heat signature. Generally, suppressors drop about what ~30dB.  So gunshots at ~150 dB means that a 78 dB is around a ~70 dB reduction.

So, readers, controversy aside, thoughts?  Could he be on to something (exaggerated claims corrected for)?

Thanks to Jay D for the pointer.

Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


  • Aren’t the OSS suppressors an actual shift from Maxim’s original design?

    • Mickey R

      They are, but they also do not suppress very well compared to more traditional baffle designs. I know this from first-hand experience.

      • Joshua

        If I remember right, they are more aabout reducing fouling and back pressure, w hk ile still suppressing some.

        • Doc Rader

          Seems like that is what I read on their site as well.

      • iksnilol

        Yup, if you are interested in sound suppression the OSS suppressors aren’t that good. If you are looking for recoil reduction without increasing the sound like muzzle brakes do (and hiding the flash + making it harder to locate the sound), then the OSS is good.

    • Doc Rader

      How do they depart from the design. I briefly glanced through the site and didn’t get a real feel for the structural change. They talk about reduction of back pressure, but it wasn’t clear if they still used baffles, etc.

      • This is what they look like inside. All channels and spirals rather than baffles:

        • Doc Rader

          Oh wow! That is way different.

        • ⊕RussR⊕

          looks like way to mant small goles they will fill with carbon and be solid….

          • Marty Ewer

            My exact thought.

  • charlesrhamilton

    There’s only one way to find out. Have them send you one and run it through the wringer.

    • Doc Rader

      Maybe we can see if we can go out to his shop and test it out there. Doing reviews on suppressors is a PITA because of the NFA. We would still have to do a transfer and wait on the paperwork.

  • anonymous coward

    There’s no meat to this article.

    • wetcorps

      Wondering what’s the point as well, since there aren’t actual tests yet. Didn’t we speculate more than enough already?

      • Doc Rader

        It would be interesting to know if anyone has *actually* bought one yet. At $4000 I’m not sure if many people are willing to give it a try.

        • whskee

          I’d be inclined to expect the next article to be something to the effect of them getting sued for falsified claims and some pissed off buyers..

    • Clickity-Clickity

      But TFB got us to click and remain on the page. They have to keep the lights on $omehow.

      • Doc Rader

        With any luck maybe we can send someone out to review on site.

      • Anonymous Coward

        Makes them no better than TTAG then.

        • David

          No, TTAG report this many moons ago.

        • Ethan

          I would venture this article, while brief, at least attempts a level of objectivity – something not found on TTAG.

        • VMV7

          Ah TTAG, the MSNBC of the gun blog world.

    • KestrelBike

      It’s more than I knew about the topic 5min ago….

  • Mickey R

    Considering that the sound of the bolt slamming home on an AR is around 109dB I’d say no, he’s not on to anything except wildly exaggerated marketing claims. Have you seen the inside of that thing? If it meters 78dB with standard velocity 5.56 measured with an industry-standard, calibrated meter, I’ll eat my shoe.

    • Doc Rader

      Yeah, that is the “skeptical” part. I think ~78 dB is a toilet flushing. I could *maybe* see some more heat dissipation from size and materials, but not sure about the other claims.

      • Ethan

        But its FOOTBALL shaped so its aerodynamic for operators!

        I hate knocking a new product before its been tested, even if the owner is kind of a sleaze, but this is just preposterous.The only thing missing is a claim that it can tactical shoot lightning bolts if you turn it the right way.

    • Josh Reashore

      What kind of AR are you shooting that letting the bolt return is approx 109dB?????? My service rifle (C7A2) was whisper quiet….. Not doubting you, just legitimately curious.

      • Mickey R

        The bolt closing on any standard AR will meter around 109dB peak, which is not as loud as it may seem. Decibels are a logarithmic scale, not linear. A change of only 3dB represents a change in power by a factor of two.

        • Josh Reashore

          I’m in health and safety now as a profession post-army, and I’m familiar with how decibel ratings work. Considering a jackhammer comes in at around 100dB, again I find it hard to believe a cycling AR bolt is going to beat that by a significant margin.

          • Mickey R

            Look, I’m obviously not going to convince you one way or the other. I tried to link to a youtube video from a reputable silencer manufacturer showing the AR bolt noise metering at 119.2dB, but for some reason TFB wouldn’t approve the post. Go do your own homework and I’m confident you’ll see I’m right (and actually a little on the low side at 109dB).

          • Josh Reashore

            I’ll take your word for it then.

          • Ethan

            Also note that the duration of the bolt hitting the breech face is almost instantaneous, a jack-hammer is continuous in duration. just a thought..

          • cawpin

            A jackhammer is not 100dB. It’s around 125-130.

      • Dragonheart

        Sorry, but the posted 109 dB & the video showing 119 dB for an action closing on an AR just didn’t sound right, so I measured 3 AR’s and one AK with a real decibel meter, not a cell phone app. I took measurements 1 foot from the action using C weighted (sounds heard by the ear) and the highest decibel level was 92 decibels for any of the rifles tested. The sound level diminishes with distance, but a suppressor that reduces the total sound to 78 dB at the muzzle I don’t think is possible on any AR.

        • UpChuck.Liberals

          Thank you for the real world testing. Beats conjecture any day of the week. What’s your feeling on a 300 BLK using subsonic rounds?

        • Ethan

          I’ve often pondered how hard it would be to develop a “quiet” AR action – polymer pads molded in certain contact faces to deaden the metal-on-metal impact.

        • Stbrnrd

          Just a thought, but could the extravagant claims that are being made by JJ, (sleek-Sliiz for short) be actually not too far off if….only…. The sound of the fired round out of the muzzle was being considered?? After watching the video, and racking the AR and the AK and the shotty (for giggles) found them to be ‘aaalmost’ equally loud, in a quiet setting that is. These claims could be made from “controlled” equipment that has no operator, or maybe a bolt-action type.
          There is always going to be mechanical noise to increase the perceived loudness of a fired round, and that’s where I loose the small grip on what silencers are meant to do and their manufacturing companies trying to sell us. The comment of the increase of 3 decibels increases pressure by a factor of 2 got me all confused, if the sound of the action closing, was removed from the equation….does this mean that an average gunshot is only about 60 Db??…. See told you I needed some clarification (seriously asking for it, please) :-). Thanks in advanced.

          • Mickey R

            Ever heard of “first round pop?” The first round fired through a silencer is typically the loudest. Subsequent shots are quieter because the oxygen in the silencer has been burned up. Some people try various ways of eliminating first round pop, such as spraying a blast of “computer duster” into the silencer to evacuate some of the oxygen.

            Also, a 3dB increase does not mean a two-fold increase in pressure… and unsuppressed gunshots are in the neighborhood of 160dB whether fired from an actual firearm or a test barrel alone.

    • Ned Weatherby

      I think your shoe is safe.

    • Stbrnrd

      What if it wasn’t shot out of a regular “weapon” per se, but like the barrel, with a round chambered, a pull-chord in the other room, and metered that way…. Would you still doubt it??

      • Mickey R

        Yes, I would still doubt it. JJFU claims this result was achieved with standard velocity (i.e. supersonic) ammo. Even if the test was done using a barrel alone, the crack of the bullet going supersonic would be far louder than 78dB.

        • Stbrnrd

          Lol! Sorry Mickey I didn’t meant to write like as if doubting, it’s just that I have seen many “marketing ploys” to do things just like that, navigate at full throttle in dark grey waters, and because they “technically” achieve the claims stated by means like I had described….they get off the hook for providing a half-@$$ product that we have to hide from our friends eyes so they won’t see we “fell for it” kind of thing.
          But I did notice this past weekend at the range, if your target is not far enough to let the speed of the round slow down enough to break the SB that there is no secondary-crack before impact. Normally a round leaving the muzzle @2200fps has a large gas ball and the first crack combined (almost identical) to one another, but once the round is down range and the projectile slows downward to below 1200fps is where the “field-crack” is heard…
          So IF IN THEORY…. One is able to hush the gasses and the initial crack, and the round is in near-atmosphere by the time it comes out of the device @2100fps the only time you would “hear the SB crack” is if the target is past the projectile reaching 1100fps….. Is this not some-what accurate?
          Again, thanks Mickey (looking forward to your reply, the last one was awesome!)

  • Vitor

    The big sound reduction is ok, but increase velocity of the round by more than 10%? Such BS.

    • iksnilol


      I get that people are complaining about the claimed sound reduction, but the claims of 100-200 m/s increased velocity are even more shady. I am not that good with physics but that extra energy has to come from somewhere, and the gas being trapped in the suppressor doesn’t provide enough to increase the velocity by that much.

      • Sadler

        You do gain some velocity when using a suppressor, but it’s more to the tune of 5-10 m/s.

        • iksnilol

          I know that. The physics behind make sense for a 5-10 m/s increase and all, but they don’t make sense for a 10-20% increase in velocity. Such a velocity increase (10-20%) would give you almost 308 performance from 7.62×39.

          • Nate Opgenorth

            That would be quite a product. Sadly I really doubt these claims. Maybe its just me but if I had a great product I would market its specs and claims really conservatively and watch as glowing reviews were impressed that it performed better than what the manufacturer claimed…

          • Ethan

            If we assume the maximum possible velocity boost would be from a barrel extension of the same length as the suppressor, then we at least could do a sanity check.

            So if this suppressor is about 7″ long, would a 16″ + 7″ = 23″ barrel give you a 200 FPS velocity boost?
            Maybe, but if he claims his suppressor does that, it means that the suppressor is pulling almost NO gas from behind the bullet – meaning it would provide almost no suppression.

            He can’t have it both ways – velocity added and decibels reduced are opposite correlates – as the speed goes up, the amount of sound reduction must go down.

          • iksnilol

            5.56 IIRC slows down after 50 cm (20 inches) of barrel. That and 200 fps is a far cry from 200 m/s.

          • Ethan

            Good catch – I didn’t even see that. Did he really claim 200m/s???

          • iksnilol

            At first he claimed 200 m/s then he redacted that to a “reasonable” 100 m/s. I should have screenshotted it.

          • Ethan

            Yeeeah… I have just moved from the “Respectfully Skeptical” group to the “That’s BULLS__T!” group. Wow… and here I thought the age of traveling snake oil salesmen had passed.

          • Stbrnrd

            Actually that IS what he claimed, he has the inside of the football with a thread-on-barrel extension (slots cut out for “venting”) but it is now part of the barrel, making it a 24.5″ OA length; and that the sound suppressing “abilities” come from his long history exposure of the inner workings of high-end-exhaust systems (not bad for a non-degree “rig-geneer” and professional welder).
            Which brings the point of …. Since because he has been crapping for longer than he has been welding….does that make him a “professional-crapper” as well??

      • Ethan

        Beyond that any gas that is adding to velocity (as it would in a barrel that was 4 or 5″ longer) is gas that is NOT being expanded and lowered in pressure. A suppressor’s primary purpose is to absorb and disperse energy – not to keep it concentrated behind the bullet.

        Basically, in suppressor design, adding velocity is adding inefficiency. Its focusing energy that you want widely dispersed.

  • Forest C. Adcock

    1. The guy is scum and we shouldn’t trust him at his word, ever. There’s plenty of footage out there as to why I feel this way.

    2. While I doubt his claims, I would be interested in seeing what a guy famous for making bikes louder could do with making a firearm quieter. Bringing in new ideas isn’t always a bad thing, and even if this doesn’t work at all, maybe it’ll spur the next guy on who does do something awesome with his idea.

    3. $4,500 with absolutely no evidence to back up your claims? Yeah, I’ll be sending that check never…

    • n0truscotsman

      “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” 🙂

  • lucusloc

    He needs to put his money where his mouth is and have a few independent testers come out and put rounds down range. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

    I would also be interesting to see the theoretical limits for a volume that size. Does anyone know how the math works?

  • Blake

    Figured this was BS since a bolt chambering a round with no gunshot is over 110 db. Also, if you read the website he states that conventional suppressors only last 2500 rounds. What a bunch of crap

  • echelon

    I really don’t know why this is even a thing. It’s either marketing fluff or it’s the real deal. If it’s fluff then nobody is going to lose any sleep over it and we’ll all forget about it tomorrow. If they’ve truly patented a way to make it reduce down to 78db then that is an amazing feat.

    But to say definitively one way or another right now is just rank speculation.

    Let JJFU be the one with egg on their face if they can’t back up their claims…spouting off about it now and then being wrong later is a bad plan.

    “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln

    • Mickey R

      No, it’s not just “rank speculation” to say that there’s no possible way this monstrosity of a suppressor will meter at 78dB with standard velocity 5.56 ammo. It is physically impossible, because 78dB is quieter than the sound of the action closing (about 109dB). Think about that for a second… JJ is claiming this thing makes the sound of the shot about 30dB quieter than the sound the rifle’s action makes closing on an empty chamber! That’s just impossible. JJ’s claims about the performance of this thing are so outrageous and unbelievable that it’s no surprise so many are calling him out on it.

      • echelon

        That may be true, and if so, then as I said, they will have egg on their face.

        I’m sure a lot of people told the Wright brothers that manned flight was “impossible” too…

  • Rick

    so these sites that test $5K custom rifles, can test a 4K silencer, and finally lay this thing to rest. James can’t complain about what an owner does with their purchase, and it ends the talk. Just like the only way to shut up “audiophiles” who buy $1K HDMI or even $10K CAT5 cables (yeah thats a thing) was to run the equipment to prove the separation of fools from cash.

  • Sven at Manticore Arms

    The explanation is simple, it was likely tested with an Iphone or some other similar tech device in their shop instead of using the proper sound equipment for supressor testing standards. An cellphone, computer, or even PA mic does not have the response time or ability to abosrb a hard impulse that the proper testing equipment does- you need special microphones and recording equipment that typically run about $10,000+ to get a true decibel level measurement for peak sound that is standard in the suppressor industry. Test any other common suppressor on an Iphone and it will read in the 70-80 decibel range….but that is simply due to limitations of the Iphone’s ability to catch the sound impulse, not because the sound impulse is only in the 70-80 decibel range.

    • Doc Rader

      Yeah, a legit test would involve the Army standard and use something like: http://www.atecorp.com/products/bruel-kjaer/2209.aspx

    • Patrick Mingle

      and they tested it on a bb gun

    • raz-0

      IIRC 4G and later it also involves artifacts of apple trying to isolate the voice from background noises. A side effect was lots of weirdness with clipping high impulse noises.

  • i1776

    Click bait. Hook Line Sinker.

  • West

    Not like he’s a known liar or anything…

  • Hudson

    Nevuh been done befoh

  • dan citizen

    The guy’s credibility is somewhere south of zero… so I’m calling shenanigans.

  • Joe Grine

    Only plausible if he measures Decibels as a function of time (say L 10 instead of L max).

  • We shall see. We are trying to arrange a test of one.

  • tony

    Jesse James , is that the due that boned Sandra Bullock? Lucky dog…

  • floppyscience

    Yeah, no. As soon as I saw this I knew it was absurd considering an AR’s bolt closing is louder than 78db. Also if I remember correctly, it was initially advertised as increasing muzzle velocity by 200 m/s before that claim was nerfed to a more “reasonable” 100 m/s.

  • John

    I’d like to know why more people aren’t copying Rat Worx’s Tavor suppressor design. It’s literally three pieces; you can take them apart and wash them in the kitchen sink, dry them and reassemble; and they actually bring down decibels.

  • David

    Jesse James has as much credibility as the Obamanation

  • Colin

    The De Lisle carbine from WW2 was capable of 85.5 dB, firing the subsonic .45 acp from a bolt action.
    This is allegedly quieter, from a self loading action and makes the supersonic ammo fly faster – if they can do one of those I’d be impressed, all of them and I may faint!

    • Colin

      who are you…..

      • Joshua

        Clearly Colin.

  • Wingbert

    That thing would look great on my Steampunk rifle build

    • Matthew

      Got a photo album online for it? Would love to see a working steampunk rifle

  • janklow

    it would seem backing out of that challenge tells us everything about this suppressor we need to know.

  • Colin

    Is it possible to add another suppressor that’s good at sound suppression(silencerco omega) onto the end of a oss suppressor good at clean, no blow back .So you would have two together doing separate jobs . If it is possible you would have A quiet clean low blowback suppressor . Anyone want to try ? .delisle 85.5DB Are not that quiet on modern state or art sound measuring equipment at peak sound pressure .1960’s army document testing look it up ! As an Englishman I know / love these things lee Enfields rule. Spooks suppressed L E rifle HEAVEN….

  • Xavier Ramos Santoni

    Just ask Sandra Bullock if we can trust him…

    • sauerquint

      I’ve forgotten who she dumped to land this hunk of man meat.

  • me ohmy

    I can fart louder then 78db

    • 1911a145acp

      After reading these claims….. my STOMACH is grumbling louder than 78db…..

  • Marty Ewer

    That Lincoln was ahead of his time.

  • Jeff

    He cheated on Sandra Bullock so I don’t like him. I mean, what was he thinking?

  • gunslinger


    while it may be hard to believe that you can reach 78dB, it is a possibility. They said man couldn’t fly, couldn’t break the sound barrier, go to space..land on the moon. but we did.

    BUT we didn’t have some TV personality doing the science/research behind it.

    • Joshua

      Not with supersonic ammunition.

      The crack alone from thebbullet breaking the sound barrier is above 78db, not to mention the bcg going into battery on the AR-15 is 109db.

  • echelon

    “Meh.” – Echelon

  • Roderick Lalley

    If you can make bike louder you can make them quieter too !!! He maybe on to something !!! I will not pass judgement, but show me !!!

  • Jonny Bravo Customs

    From an objective standpoint, I think JJFU is underestimating today’s idea of a custom AR-15, which many would agree is the most efficient means for the individual to engage a threat. It appears JJFU has a focus on artistic qualities attached to a name brand to validate an over priced product.
    A slap in the face for the industry would be JJFU’s success, not their current effort. The free market will decide in time if there is anything substantial to the claims of their product.

  • s

    Proof is in the pudding and there is no pudding in the kitchen.

    75 dB is a Dishwasher running, 78 dB is a Washing machine running.

    I personally don’t care for JJ but till I see hard evidence from a third party using good sound meters, I will keep my money.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    When you cheat on arguably one of the top five or so hottest women in Hollywood with someone who is less-hot and less-rich-and-famous, who you somehow managed to get to marry you, I lose faith in your ability to make sound decisions. This is really not helping to change that. I think it’s time for Jessy James to retire to obscurity where he can grow up into the kind of man we at least aren’t irritated to know about.

  • Billy Ayers

    Why would TFB even bother with this?
    The forums exhausted this weeks ago.
    The action noise of an AR is upwards of 100 db.

  • echelon


  • Rob Hill

    I like Jessie. he reminds me of my late brother in many ways. Not perfect, but a likable rogue with a touch of bad ass. As to his claims, well I have no skin in the game so I’m willing to wait and see. He is creative and willing to ignore convention, and that can be an advantage at times, though it can also get you into trouble if you’re not careful. That’s especially true if the showman in you writes checks that the engineer in you can’t cover. The gun community can be harsh critics, and pretty unforgiving too. After all, we’re not talking about something you putt around on. We’re talking about a gun, the reliability of which can decide if you live or die. And while we all enjoy shooting for its own sake, we also know that there is a practical aspect to this activity that we hope we’ll never have to use.

  • Doom

    how can you boost the speed 300~ fps and still be silent? or is there still a sonic boom? if so, what is the point?

  • J S

    I’m in for one if it can adapt a charcoal filter to control the smell from the bull crap coming off it.

  • tomah57

    One must remember “nothing is impossible,only improbable” ,remember the people that swore the earth was flat ?They would have a massive coronary too see what ‘impossible’ things we have today.
    No matter what ‘sort’ we think Mr.James to be it does not mean he is not to be the one to figure out how to accomplish this , if that were the case we would all still be carrying stones.
    I will quietly await further information while most of you discuss this and a few of you continue your 5000 year old quest commonly known as the ‘pissing contest’ .

  • Someone posted a video of it and it does seem to work very well.

  • Ben Pottinger

    You can’t compare “regular” noise levels seen on your typical dB chart. A jet engine is a constant noise, a jackhammer has a very long impulse so “sounds” louder to your ear then a similar dB gunshot. Gunshots have an extremely fast impulse and carry a lot of energy in a small time period (part of why they can damage your ears so easily). A suppressor/silencer increases the length of the impulse in addition to dropping the dB. So you end up with a longer 138dB impulse instead of a short 165dB impulse. The difference with a quality 556 suppressor is similar to a unsuppressed Ruger 10/22 22lr. Not quiet, but comfortable to shoot without muffs. I wouldn’t advise shooting a 10.5″ 5.56 AR without muffs unless it’s silenced, lol. A good 9mm can is about equal to a paintball gun, and a good 22lr can is no louder then the action of the gun itself (so it varies. A 10/22 is louder then a bolt gun for example, but not by much).

    Oh, and about this articles suppressor? 78dB is quieter then the hammer or firing pin on most guns (remember, it’s a very short impulse, so it sounds quieter to your ears then it really is)! 78dB isn’t likely to happen until we upgrade to laser guns.

  • Winter

    Jesse James is windier than a sack full of farts, always has been. That, on top of being a complete POS. He’s made a career of making wild claims that have consistently been proven to be nothing more than delusions of grandeur. Followed quickly by James calling everyone else names, labeling the public too stupid to comprehend his genius and declaring himself the winner of fabricating competitions he’s lost.

    How anyone could take this clown seriously at this point is beyond me. I guess someone had to fill Will Hayden’s shoes and take over the “ridiculous claims” market.